Redistricting Legislation

Voters should choose their representatives—representatives shouldn’t choose their voters. We’re fighting to make sure that districts are based on communities, not political aspirations. 

2019 Legislation

The People’s Maps Act

SB 139 (B. Allen – Santa Monica)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation

Summary: The People’s Maps Act would require California’s largest counties that have over 250,000 residents to establish independent redistricting commissions to draw county supervisorial lines. Based on California’s gold standard model of redistricting, this bill would strip county supervisors of the power to draw their own lines and would give an independent body of citizens the power to draw maps, with public input.

The Fair Maps Act

AB 849 (Bonta – Alameda)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation

Summary: The Fair Maps Act is the first significant reform of California local redistricting law since the 1940s. Modeled off the requirements already in place for State redistricting, this bill creates standardized, fair redistricting criteria that keeps communities together and prohibits partisan gerrymandering. It also requires local governments to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding public hearings. This bill would also better align the local redistricting timeline to allow for more opportunities for public participation in the map drawing process.


2018 Legislation

Independent Redistricting Commissions

SB 1018 (B. Allen – Santa Monica)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation

Summary:  Current law allows cities and counties, but no other local government, to set up independent commissions. SB 1018 would authorize school districts and special districts to set up independent commissions. The bill also clarifies that commissions may be used for an initial districting, makes commissions easier to adopt, and authorizes cities to contract with their county to have the county’s independent redistricting commission draw the city’s districts. Finally, SB 1018 protects best practice by prohibiting independent commissions from drawing lines to benefit or discriminate against a political party.


California Voting Rights Act Reform

SB 2123 (Cervantes – Corona)
California Common Cause sponsored this Legislation with the League of Cities

Summary: SB 2123 would grant a 90-day extension to cities sued in California Voting Rights Act claims, so that they have more time to transition from at-large to by-district elections. It can be very difficult, in only the 90 days currently allowed by law, for a local government or civil rights or community-based organizations to identify underrepresented communities, educate them about districting and its importance, and encourage and facilitate their participation in the process. The extra 3 months will allow for greater community engagement and education in the initial districting process.

Next Campaign

Citizens Redistricting Commission